Snacking has become a part of everyday life. In 2015, Mintel reported that 94 percent of the U.S. population snacked daily, with many snacking several times a day. For example, 24 percent of Millennials, consumers aged 20 to 36, snack four or more times a day.
This snacking movement is great news for vending, micro market and office coffee service operators. It means breakrooms, refreshment areas and micro market grab-and-go locations are being utilized more than ever. Ensure you are offering the best options to meet this increasing demand.
Give the people what they want
What Americans choose to snack on is evolving. According to Mintel, most consumers want a snack that satisfies a craving. A growing number also are looking for better-for-you snacking alternatives. Another report from Healthy Convenience Foods In NMI indicated that more than half of the U.S. population has a desire for snacks to be healthy, on-the-go options. In the 2014 report, the percentage of Americans looking for healthier products increased 45 percent in just one year. With the percentage of away-from-home consumers who want healthy options at 54 percent, all signs point to this trend continuing.
Offer healthy variety
While individuals tend to define “healthy” differently based on their individual dietary needs and preferences, operators can find some guidance as to what consumers expect from “healthy” products. Nielsen released a Global Health and Wellness Report indicating the ratings consumers gave "healthy" food including which ones were most desirable. Most people attached the attributes "fresh", "natural" and "minimally processed" to healthy products. Organic snacks can fit into this category because to be certified organic the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the product is produced without using methods such as genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Using this definition, some people perceive organic products as more natural and less processed.
Pair Snacks With Beverages
The organic movement within the vending, micro market and office coffee service industry is not isolated to snacks alone. Organic designations for coffee is becoming much more important to consumers. In the latest National Coffee Association's annual coffee drinking trends it was reported that 26 percent of consumers purchased organic coffee, an increase over 2015 which was 25 percent. With another 23 percent opting for Fair Trade and 17 percent Rainforest Alliance, sustainability and socially responsible coffees are an important option that must be among your office coffee service product offerings.
Micro market operators have a tremendous opportunity to increase revenues at micro markets with the right mix of snack and beverage selections. By opting for today's top snack trends and utilizing organic choices, operators can lure customers again and again to their well-stocked refreshment destination.
To learn more about how to add Horizon® Organic Cheese, a good source of protein and excellent source of calcium to your micro market snack options, contact your WhiteWave Away From Home representative. 888.620.9910 | whitewaveawayfromhome.com